One Bidder Buys All to Keep Muhlenberg Family Treasures Together and in the Process Sets Auction Record
Thanks to one great history lover who snapped up every single lot in this evening’s sale, the treasured legacy of one of Pennsylvania’s great families, the Muhlenberg’s remains intact.
Samuel M. ’Beau’ Freeman II, Freeman’s Chairman was the auctioneer at tonight's historic sale. One paddle rose again and again, without fail. All 27 lots will now enhance an important private collection of Revolutionary War materials. The Muhlenberg Family history's new steward couldn't be more pleased with the outcome "Shocked and delighted!" were their exact words.
The auction entitled Historic Muhlenberg Property from a Private Collection including The Grand Division of Color of the 8th Virginia included not only that very rare flag, which achieved a stunning $422,500, but other great treasures as well. This collection, from a Muhlenberg descendant, includes an extensive manuscript archive representing the public and sometimes private lives of this leading Pennsylvania German family, from the period of the American Revolution through the Civil War.
Lot 2, the General Order and Brigade Order book, kept by General Peter Muhlenberg’s orderly from May through November, 1777, a period that encompasses the battles of Brandywine and Germantown, quickly shot to $98,500, setting an auction record, as this private collector matched phone bidders from all around the country every step of the way. Every lot, it was the same thing: This bidder's steadfast resolve drove nearly every lot well above its estimate. The final tally: $646,063. "This collector is my hero!" said Lisa Minardi, author of Pastors & Patriots: The Muhlenberg Family of Pennsylvania and Assistant Curator at Winterthur, "It’s amazing that these items descended in the family and are now staying together in a single collection."